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Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
January, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 01
Heating Up Your Practice Safely, Part 2
By Dixie Wall, Contributing Editor
In December's issue1 we discussed heat therapies and their positive effects in the treatment room. We covered treatment procedures such as skin typing, which will help us give an effective heat therapy treatment while minimizing the risks of burns. We mentioned the use of an informed consent document during the preliminary consultation and reviewed the most common mistakes that can lead to accidental burns. This month, we will discuss the gathering and assessment of subjective and objective information to formulate the best treatment plan for our clients.
First we will begin by reviewing the physiological effects of heat on the body. These involve the endocrine, circulatory and nervous systems. The body's temperature is regulated by the hypothalamus (endocrine system), which strives to keep the body in balance. Common therapeutic responses of the circulatory system include increased circulation and blood flow to the muscles by the vasodilatation of the peripheral nervous system. Sometimes the client will feel slightly sedated from heat by the release of neurotransmitters that tend to make us feel good and cause a decrease in pain and joint stiffness.
Nevertheless, there are certain conditions, diseases and body types that may cause abnormal reactions to heat therapy and/or compromise a client's perception of heat. There are several types of heat therapies used by massage therapists, the most popular include: hot stones, immersion baths, electric heating pads, moist heat packs (hydrocollater packs) and infra-red saunas. In order to use these tools safely, we must remain flexible to our client's individual needs by incorporating our intuition and professional knowledge. It may be best to check first with a client's primary care physician when working with sick patients. A certain client's condition or symptoms may be exacerbated by heat therapies. Considering the aforementioned therapies, what are the subjective and objective factors to consider when treating with heat therapies?
The first precautionary measure we can take is by simply asking our clients for a basic medical history. These findings are subjective unless we actually talk to, or receive a note from, a client's primary care physician confirming diagnosis given by the client. Most therapists gather subjective information by an initial interview where the client fills out a complete medical history on their first visit. This document should include, but is not limited to: medical background including medications and supplements, and an informed consent. Some therapists include an extra form specifically for hot stones, or other types of modalities to be filled out by the clients before treatment. Here are some of most common contraindicated and cautioned diseases and conditions to be aware of with use of heat therapies:
Contraindicated diseases and conditions:
Acute conditions and special needs clients:
Subjective information is essential, however, objective observations are equally important and effective when creating a treatment plan for clients. By careful observation, we can use our intuition to determine the particular need of each client. For example, noticing that a client is generally in a hurry, feels "hot," tends to sweat easily or is easily irritated may raise a red flag for heat therapies. This client's symptoms point to a general heat pattern in the body and may be exacerbated by adding more heat.
Many types of alternative medical practitioners use subjective and objective information in order to reach a diagnosis and treatment plan for their patients. Legally we cannot diagnosis, but a therapist can still gather information to formulate the best treatment plan for each individual client.
In traditional Chinese medical theory, a practitioner may avoid heat therapies such as moxabustion and fire cupping on certain types of patterns of disharmony or disease. A diagnosis or pattern of disease may indicate whether or not the patient has a too much or not enough heat. Generally, Eastern doctors will not use heat therapies on heat patterns (excess yang or deficient yin/ hot body types) but will use them on patients who have cold patterns (excess yin or deficiency of yang/cold body types) in their diagnosis to warm up the body. The practitioner's intention is to promote the balance of hot (yang) and cold (yin) within the body.
From a similar perspective, Ayuervedic medicine also tries to achieve balance through body typing and diagnosis, and tends not to use heat therapies on people with a high pitta conditions (since pitta represents the fire-water element in the Ayurvedic tradition).
If still not sure on whether or not to use heat, a therapist can palpitate the client's pulse. From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, pulses over 80 beats per minute (BPM) indicate a mild heat condition and a pulse over 90 BPM indicates a severe heat condition. However, pulse rates can be affected by many factors that should always be considered.
Ultimately, we must always make the client's well-being our top priority by creating balance through the use of our modalities. We must remain flexible based on our clients' needs. Coupling both our intuition and education, we can provide safe and effective treatments for our clients. As always, I welcome and appreciate any comments or concerns at .
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